‘First day nerves again…’

I was a little reticent about my first full day without my bossy but beloved mentor, but also wanted to make sure her hard work training me was put to good use. My first day holding the fort had gone fairly smoothly, ably assisted by volunteer Tim it was the ‘dry run’ of what was to be a baptism of fire. The last two days of the week had House Manager Lin and myself frantically ticking off our ‘jobs to do before opening’ list. This included room information sheets, laminating, vase cleaning, rope hunting, and above all a full house clean. The beginning of the week was my first tour of duty when the house was fully open and it was a memorable one. The daily clean was the first order of the day, but co-worker Margaret could not make it in, so along with Jane we prioritised the visitor route and focussed on windows, flat surfaces and floors. Somehow I muddled through the daily briefing allotting rota cards, and cascading info. I was home alone in the afternoon and had a hectic time of manning the front door as we were a few guides down, as well as enquiries to field, not to mention starting the pink circle.

What’s that I hear you whisper? Well. A big part of this season at Dyrham is the exhibition we have from The Arts Council Collection. We will be incorporating contemporary works into our collection as part of a ‘Networks and Globalisation’ theme. One of the biggest we have is a piece that involved a little forethought. Roughly speaking, it’s a large pink circle painted directly onto the wall. To have as minimal impact on the surface as possible, it was decided between Curator Rupert, Maintenance supremeo Paul Poulton and the house crew, that we paste a backing paper to the wall then paint the circle. Shed loads of scaffolding went up to get to the right height so we could mark out the circle with ingenious precision thanks to Paul’s patented ‘pencil on a stick and a hole in the wall’. Hanging wallpaper was never my specialty, but we did a grand job. Next week the real fun will begin…

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About arlingtoncourtblog

Welcome to my blog! I've been keeping it to document my training as a Conservation Assistant for the National Trust at Dyrham Park. View all posts by arlingtoncourtblog

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